Frequently Asked Questions

Do all cloud storage systems support all rclone commands

Yes they do. All the rclone commands (eg sync, copy etc) will work on all the remote storage systems.

Can I copy the config from one machine to another

Sure! Rclone stores all of its config in a single file. If you want to find this file, the simplest way is to run rclone -h and look at the help for the --config flag which will tell you where it is.

See the remote setup docs for more info.

How do I configure rclone on a remote / headless box with no browser?

This has now been documented in its own remote setup page.

Can rclone sync directly from drive to s3

Rclone can sync between two remote cloud storage systems just fine.

Note that it effectively downloads the file and uploads it again, so the node running rclone would need to have lots of bandwidth.

The syncs would be incremental (on a file by file basis).


rclone sync drive:Folder s3:bucket

Using rclone from multiple locations at the same time

You can use rclone from multiple places at the same time if you choose different subdirectory for the output, eg

Server A> rclone sync /tmp/whatever remote:ServerA
Server B> rclone sync /tmp/whatever remote:ServerB

If you sync to the same directory then you should use rclone copy otherwise the two rclones may delete each others files, eg

Server A> rclone copy /tmp/whatever remote:Backup
Server B> rclone copy /tmp/whatever remote:Backup

The file names you upload from Server A and Server B should be different in this case, otherwise some file systems (eg Drive) may make duplicates.

Why doesn’t rclone support partial transfers / binary diffs like rsync?

Rclone stores each file you transfer as a native object on the remote cloud storage system. This means that you can see the files you upload as expected using alternative access methods (eg using the Google Drive web interface). There is a 1:1 mapping between files on your hard disk and objects created in the cloud storage system.

Cloud storage systems (at least none I’ve come across yet) don’t support partially uploading an object. You can’t take an existing object, and change some bytes in the middle of it.

It would be possible to make a sync system which stored binary diffs instead of whole objects like rclone does, but that would break the 1:1 mapping of files on your hard disk to objects in the remote cloud storage system.

All the cloud storage systems support partial downloads of content, so it would be possible to make partial downloads work. However to make this work efficiently this would require storing a significant amount of metadata, which breaks the desired 1:1 mapping of files to objects.

Can rclone do bi-directional sync?

No, not at present. rclone only does uni-directional sync from A -> B. It may do in the future though since it has all the primitives - it just requires writing the algorithm to do it.

Can I use rclone with an HTTP proxy?

Yes. rclone will use the environment variables HTTP_PROXY, HTTPS_PROXY and NO_PROXY, similar to cURL and other programs.

HTTPS_PROXY takes precedence over HTTP_PROXY for https requests.

The environment values may be either a complete URL or a “host[:port]“, in which case the “http” scheme is assumed.

The NO_PROXY allows you to disable the proxy for specific hosts. Hosts must be comma separated, and can contain domains or parts. For instance “” also matches “”.

Rclone gives x509: failed to load system roots and no roots provided error

This means that rclone can’t file the SSL root certificates. Likely you are running rclone on a NAS with a cut-down Linux OS, or possibly on Solaris.

Rclone (via the Go runtime) tries to load the root certificates from these places on Linux.

"/etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt", // Debian/Ubuntu/Gentoo etc.
"/etc/pki/tls/certs/ca-bundle.crt",   // Fedora/RHEL
"/etc/ssl/ca-bundle.pem",             // OpenSUSE
"/etc/pki/tls/cacert.pem",            // OpenELEC

So doing something like this should fix the problem. It also sets the time which is important for SSL to work properly.

mkdir -p /etc/ssl/certs/
curl -o /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt
ntpclient -s -h

Note that you may need to add the --insecure option to the curl command line if it doesn’t work without.

curl --insecure -o /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt

Rclone gives Failed to load config file: function not implemented error

Likely this means that you are running rclone on Linux version not supported by the go runtime, ie earlier than version 2.6.23.

See the system requirements section in the go install docs for full details.

All my uploaded docx/xlsx/pptx files appear as archive/zip

This is caused by uploading these files from a Windows computer which hasn’t got the Microsoft Office suite installed. The easiest way to fix is to install the Word viewer and the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 and later versions’ file formats

tcp lookup no such host

This happens when rclone cannot resolve a domain. Please check that your DNS setup is generally working, e.g.

# both should print a long list of possible IP addresses
dig          # resolve using your default DNS
dig @ # resolve with Google's DNS server

If you are using systemd-resolved (default on Arch Linux), ensure it is at version 233 or higher. Previous releases contain a bug which causes not all domains to be resolved properly.

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